Doctor Who

Season 1 Episode 11

Boom Town

16
Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Jun 04, 2005 on BBC America
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
598 votes
18

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Location: Cardiff, Wales
Date: 2006
Enemy: Margaret Blaine (Blon Fel Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen)
The Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack stop off in present-day Cardiff to recharge the TARDIS on the Rift they formerly encountered in 1869. Whilst there, they come upon a since-thought-long-dead enemy of theirs, who is hatching a fiendish plot to get a lift back to civilisation.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Oooh, this one had SUCH potential!

    7.0
    Oh great a sequel to the Aliens of London/WWIII disaster! Dear lord, wasn't that two-parter enough of a torture for viewers? Did we really need to make it into a trilogy? Gah! Well, at least it's not the whole family shoving their crassness down our throats this time (they've been relocated to The Sarah-Jane Adventures). Only Margaret Blaine, the least awful of the whole lot, is present a fact that (despite her Professor Umbridge impersonations) made me heave a deep sigh of relief even as I cringed as the Phantom of the Ineffectual Claw Raise came back for an unwanted haunting.



    So, yeah, this episode is more than a bit of a mixed bag. There are some excellent parts (such as Jack-Doctor banter and the date between The Doctor and Margaret) but there are also moments of confusion (and we're not talking timey-wimey confusion, but lack of explanation confusion) not to mention the unbearable scenes between Rose and Mickey. Rose is absolutely right when she observes that he deserves bettertoo bad this realisation won't stick. There were numerous plotholes which are never filled in - despite RTD's desperate attempt to 'hide' them by having characters mention them and an ending that did not do justice to the complicated morals which had been introduced earlier in the episode. All in all, Boom Town is good for a bit of mindless fun or if you skip the resolution, but I wouldn't recommend it as a must-see episode.moreless
  • Boom Town

    10
    Boom Town was a perfect and very entertaining episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching and liked the character and plot development. It was great to see Margaret who is a Slitheen. There was an interesting convergence of events, references of previous episodes and questions and new mysteries. I liked when Margaret was talking with Cathy and had an emotional moment. It was also awesome to watch her and The Doctor dine and her trying to kill him. I liked how every thing played out and look forward to watching the two part season finale next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • This was a pointless episode. I can sum it up in two sentences: anti-death penalty rant and Rose/Mickey soap opera.

    4.5
    I wish RTD would stop using Doctor Who as his personal platform to throw his left-wing politics at the audience. Having a character as a mouthpiece for the anti-death penalty message would be fine, but constructing the entire episode to revolve around it is over-egging the pudding. Lest you think I'm being harsh in casting the episode this way, Mr. Davies admits as much in the Confidential episode, saying that this was written just to get to the conversation in the restaurant. The plot is very much an afterthought in "Boom Town", which is the opposite of how it should be.



    In his review of WW3, Richard Board made this observation: being encouraged to think is a good thing, but being told what to think is offensive. "Boom Town" very much tries to tell us what to think. We're asked to sympathize with a character that has murdered a number of people, and twice been a part of a scheme to destroy the Earth, which would lead to the murder of billions. Basing an entire episode on the idea that the death penalty is cruel and wrong by trying to make us sympathize with such a murderous character results in a wasted 45 minutes, marking time until the next episode. Equally pointless and unrealistic is making Margaret Slitheen the only character with the courage of her convictions, as demonstrated in the "look me in the eye" scene.



    Not only that, but in a show where the Doctor routinely kills or allows aggressive aliens/humans to die so that innocents won't die, any attempt to undermine his actions and character is an absurd soapbox to stand on. Either the Doctor's a cold killer who causes chaos and then runs away, or he's a moralistic traveler who makes hard choices and does his best to protect and save lives. As in "Dalek", the attempt to draw morally relative parallels between the Doctor and his enemies would, if taken seriously, undermine the Doctor's character and the series in general.



    Then of course, there's the ending where the Slitheen is reduced to an egg, thus avoiding the need to actually deal with any of the issues raised during the course of the episode. It's a cowardly way out of the dilemma.



    On to Rose and Mickey. Mickey has to show how manly he is by crying and saying in an anguished voice, "You left me!" Boo-hoo. I'm not watching "The Young and the Restless"; I'm watching Doctor Who. I don't care about Rose and Mickey's love life, or lack of it. Enough already. Get on with something interesting.



    Are you getting the idea that I really didn't like this episode? I can put up with politics I disagree with if they integrate smoothly into the story. I don't watch Doctor Who so that the writer/producer can preach to me. I watch to be entertained. That requires a subtle approach rather than a sledgehammer. This episode has a few entertaining moments early on, but then loses itself in the 'moral'.



    As always, I want to like the show, so I can't be content with simply criticizing the bad aspects. To give credit for the good stuff, there were a few nice ideas. Parking the TARDIS to refuel it is something we haven't seen before. With Gallifrey gone, one assumes that the Eye of Harmony as the TARDIS power source is gone as well. The 'cosmic surfboard' is quirky, but creative. Nice to see the rift from "The Unquiet Dead" is still in existence and once again used as a plot device. Seeing the heart of the TARDIS under the center column ties in with Hartnell's explanation about the power source being under the column all the way back in "The Edge of Destruction", making for some nice continuity tie-ins. How the power source is used is absurd, but seeing it isn't.



    As for the characters, leave off the unwelcome sexual innuendo, and you have a really strong TARDIS crew here. There's a nice comfortable relationship between the Doctor, Rose and Jack that I enjoy watching. They really do seem to enjoy each other's company and work well together. Nice to see that Jack has some technical skill and some capacity to work on the TARDIS so he can fulfill other functions besides serving as audience identification and a vehicle for plot exposition.



    Overall though, despite some nice touches, this episode is a preachy waste of time. 4.5 out of 10.moreless
  • Worst Dr Who episode ever.

    6.0
    This has got to be the most boring, useless, filler episode there ever has been.



    There was nothing in that episode that contributed to the rest of the series apart from maybe Rose & Mickey's relationship and Mickey & Jack meeting.



    We didn't need Margaret Slitheen to come back, in our minds she was already dead. I think the problem was, we were getting near the finale and the writers had to think of something to put in before it.



    It was a huge disappointment and I am glad that it looks like the writers have learnt their mistake and not made another episode like it.moreless
  • A filler episode, that does have an interesting moral questions that doesn't actually get examined.

    6.0
    Overall the episode is slow, no real danger exists and it is more of a set up for the last few episodes. We see Bad Wolf again.



    They do try to examine an interesting moral question of willingly sending someone to their death. But they don't do anything with it, they just keep asking if the Doctor can consciously do it. This sort of question is better suited for the philosophy classroom where a back and forth dialogue would allow for some examination rather than on TV with two folks making the same point over and over again.



    It was nice to see that they gave Mickey a little bit of depth and letting him make some of his own choices, even if I don't think he is that great of a character overall. Christopher Eccleston brings his dark Doctor persona to the for front, willing to confront problems rather then skate around them.moreless
Aled Pedick

Aled Pedick

Idris

Guest Star

Annette Badland

Annette Badland

Margaret

Guest Star

William Thomas

William Thomas

Mr.Cleaver

Guest Star

Noel Clarke

Noel Clarke

Mickey

Recurring Role

Alan Ruscoe

Alan Ruscoe

Slitheen

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (5)

    • The Doctor has obviously forgotten his vow to Peri at the end of the Sixth Doctor episode The Two Doctor where he stated a it would be a healthy vegetarian diet for the both of them from then on, since in his dinner with Margaret he orders steak and chips.

    • There are several mentions to previous episodes; Rose mentions Platform One, the setting for The End Of The World and the events of The Unquiet Dead (with the Rift, the Gelth and Gwyneth) are mentioned as well.

    • When Mickey is seen getting off the train at Cardiff Central station; the tannoy announcement heard as he gets off the train- which is in Welsh- is telling passengers that the next train to depart from platform three is going to Swansea.

    • The real full name of Margaret Blaine is 'Blon Fel Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen'.

    • The name of the nuclear installation is "Blaidd Drwg". The Doctor stares at the name, translates it as "Bad Wolf", remarks that he and Rose have been seeing Bad Wolf all over the place, then casually dismisses it as coincidence. The Slitheen says she had no particular intentions for the name; it just sounded good. This is the first open acknowledgement of all the Bad Wolf references throughout the season, suggesting that there's something going on behind the scenes.

  • QUOTES (32)

    • (Rose comes back into the TARDIS after going to find Mickey and seeing he's gone)
      The Doctor: How's Mickey?
      Rose: He's OK, he's gone.
      The Doctor: Do you want to go and find him? We'll wait.
      Rose: No need. He deserves better.
      The Doctor: Off we go then. Always moving on.
      Captain Jack: Next stop, Raxicoricofallapatorious. Now you don't often get to say that.
      The Doctor: We'll just stop by and pop her in the hatchery. Margaret the Slitheen can live her life again. A second chance.
      Rose: That'd be nice.

    • (The energy within the heart of the TARDIS turns Margaret into a Slitheen egg)
      The Doctor: She can start again. Live her life from scratch. If we take her home, give her to a different family, tell them to bring her up properly, she might be alright.
      Captain Jack: Or she might be worse.
      The Doctor: That's her choice.

    • Margaret Blaine: If I were to be arrested, then anyone capable of tracking me down would have considerable technology of their own. Therefore, they would be captivated by the extrapolator. Especially a magpie mind like yours, Doctor. So the extrapolator was programmed to go to Plan B. To lock on to the nearest alien power source and open the Rift. And what a power source it found. I'm back on schedule, thanks to you.
      Captain Jack: It's going to convulse. You'll destroy the whole planet.
      Margaret Blaine: And you with it! Whilst I ride this board over the crest of the inferno all the way to freedom. Stand back, boys. Surf's up!

    • Margaret Blaine: (grabbing Rose by the throat with her Slitheen arm) One wrong move and she snaps like a promise!

    • Margaret Blaine: In the family Slitheen, we had no choice. I was made to carry out my first kill at thirteen. If I'd refused, my father would have been fed me to the venom grubs. If I'm a killer, it's because I was born to kill. It's all I know.

    • Margaret Blaine: I promise you I've changed since we last met, Doctor. There was this girl, just today. Young thing. Something of a danger, she was getting too close. I felt the bloodlust rising, just as the family had taught me. I was going to kill her without a thought. And then, I stopped. She's alive somewhere right now, she's walking around this city because I can change, I did change I know I can't prove it...
      The Doctor: I believe you.
      Margaret Blaine: Then you know I'm capable of better.
      The Doctor: It doesn't mean anything.
      Margaret Blaine: I spared her life!
      The Doctor: You let one of them go but that's nothing new. Every now and then, a little victim's spared. Because she smiled, because he's got freckles, because they begged. And that's how you live with yourself. That's how you slaughter millions, because once in a while, on a whim, if the wind's in the right direction, you happen to be kind.
      Margaret Blaine: Only a killer would know that. Is that right? From what I've seen, your funny little happy-go-lucky life leaves devastation in its wake. Always moving on because you dare not look back. Playing with so many people's lives, you might as well be a god. And you're right, Doctor, you're absolutely right. Sometimes you let one go. (pause) Let me go.

    • Rose: You don't even like Trisha Delaney!
      Mickey: Oh, is that right? What the hell do you know?
      Rose: I know you and I know her, and I know that's never gonna happen. So who do you think you're kidding?
      Mickey: At least I know where she is!
      Rose: There we are then. It's got nothing to do with Trisha, it is all about me, isn't it?
      Mickey: You left me! We were nice, we were happy. And then, what? You give me a kiss and you run off with him and you make me feel like nothing, Rose. I was nothing. I can't even go out with a stupid girl from the shop cos you pick up the phone and I come running. I mean, is that what I am, Rose? Standby? Am I just supposed to sit here for the rest of my life waiting for you? Because I will.

    • Margaret Blaine: Public execution's a slow death. They prepare a thin acetic acid, lower me into the cauldron and boil me. The acidity is perfectly gauged to strip away the skin. Internal organs fall out into the liquid and I become soup. And still alive. Still screaming.
      The Doctor: I don't make the law.
      Margaret Blaine: But you deliver it. Will you stay to watch?
      The Doctor: What else can I do?
      Margaret Blaine: The Slitheen family is huge. There's a lot more of us, all scattered off-world. Take me to them. Take me somewhere safe.
      The Doctor: But then you'll just start again.
      Margaret Blaine: I promise I won't.
      The Doctor: You've been in that skin suit too long. You've forgotten. There used to be a real Margaret Blaine. You killed her and stripped her and used the skin. You're pleading for mercy out of a dead woman's lips.

    • Rose: The Doctor took me to this planet a while back, it much colder than this. They called it Woman Wept. The planet was actually called Woman Wept, cos if you looked at it, right, from above there was like this huge continent like all curved round, sort of looked like a woman, y'know, lamenting? Oh my God, and we went to this beach, right? No people, no buildings, just this beach like a thousand miles across. And something happened, something to do with the sun, I don't know, but the sea had just frozen. In a split-second, in the middle of a storm, waves and foam. Just frozen. All the way out to the horizon. Midnight, right, we walk underneath these waves hundred feet tall and made of ice…
      Mickey: I'm going out with Trisha Delaney.

    • The Doctor: Is that what you want? A last meal?
      Margaret Blaine: Don't I have rights?
      Captain Jack: Oh, like she's not going to try to escape!
      Margaret Blaine: Except I can never escape the Doctor, so where's the danger? (pause) I wonder if you could do it. Sit with a creature you're about to kill and take supper. How strong is your stomach?
      The Doctor: Strong enough.
      Margaret Blaine: I wonder. I've seen you fight your enemies. Now dine with them.

    • Margaret Blaine: I gather it's not always like this, having to wait. (pause) I bet you're always the first to leave, Doctor. Never mind the consequences, off you go. You butchered my family then ran for the stars, am I right? But not this time. At last, you have consequences. How does it feel?

    • Rose: We've got a prisoner. The police box is really a police box.
      Margaret Blaine: You're not just police, though. Since you're taking me to my death, that makes you my executioners. Each and every one of you.
      Mickey: You deserve it.
      Margaret Blaine: You're very quick to say so. You're very quick to soak your hands in my blood. Which makes you better than me how exactly?

    • Margaret: (on seeing the inside of the TARDIS) I almost feel better about being defeated. I never stood a chance. This is the technology of the gods.
      The Doctor: Don't worship me. I'd make a very bad god.

    • (The Doctor decides to take Margaret back to Raxacoricofallapatorious)
      Margaret: They have the death penalty. The family Slitheen was tried in its absence many years ago and found guilty, with no chance of appeal. According to the statutes of government, the moment I return I am to be executed. What do you make of that Doctor? Take me home and you take me to my death.
      The Doctor: Not my problem.

    • (The Doctor looks at the Blaidd Drwg banner)
      The Doctor: How did you think of the name?
      Margaret Blaine: What? Blaidd Drwg? It's Welsh.
      The Doctor: I know, but how did you think of it?
      Margaret Blaine: Chose it at random, that's all. I don't know. It just sounded good. Does it matter?
      The Doctor: Blaidd Drwg.
      Rose: What's it mean?
      The Doctor: Bad Wolf.
      Rose: But… I've heard that before. Bad Wolf. I've heard that lots of time.
      The Doctor: Everywhere we go, two words following us. Bad Wolf.
      Rose: How can it be following us?
      The Doctor: (pause) Nah, just a coincidence. Like hearing a word on the radio then hearing it all day. Never mind.

    • Mickey: You'd blow up a whole planet just to get a lift?
      Margaret Blaine: Like stepping on an ant-hill.

    • Captain Jack: According to intelligence, the target is the last surviving member of the Slitheen family, a criminal sect from the planet Raxicoricofallapatorious, masquerading as a human being zipped inside a skin suit. OK, plan of attack. We assume a basic 57-56 strategy, covering all available exits on the ground floor. Doctor, you go face-to-face, that'll designate exit one. I'll cover exit two. Rose, you exit three. Mickey Smith, you take exit four. Have you got that?
      The Doctor: Excuse me. Who's in charge?
      Captain Jack: Sorry. Awaiting orders, sir.
      The Doctor: Right, here's the plan. (pause) Like he said. Nice plan.

    • (Margaret gives a press reception for the nuclear power station project)
      Margaret Blaine: This nuclear power station right in the heart of Cardiff city will bring jobs for all. (applause) As you can see, as Lord Mayor, I've had to sanction some radical redevelopments. (a photographer takes a picture of her; Margaret puts her hand up) No photographs! What did I say! Take pictures of the project by all means but not me, thank you. (pause) So, Cardiff Castle will be demolished allowing the Blaidd Drwg Project to rise up, tall and proud, a monument to Welsh industry. And, yes, some of you might shiver. The words 'nuclear power station' and 'major population centre' aren't exactly the happiest of bedfellows. But I give you my personal guarantee that as long as I walk the Earth, no harm shall come to any of my citizens. Now, drink up. A toast. To the future. (The assembled press repeat the toast) And believe me, it will glow.

    • Mickey: There's no police boxes anymore, so doesn't it get noticed?
      The Doctor: Ricky, let me tell you something about the human race. You put a mysterious blue box slap bang in the middle of town. What do they do? (claps his hands on Mickey's shoulders) Walk past it. Now stop your nagging, let's go and explore.

    • Captain Jack: What's with the police box? Why does it look like that?
      Rose: It's a cloaking device.
      The Doctor: It's called a chameleon circuit. The TARDIS is meant to disguise itself wherever it lands. Like if this was Ancient Rome, it'd be a statue on a plinth or something. But I landed in the 1960s, it disguised itself as a police box and the circuit got stuck.

    • Mr. Cleaver: I've checked the figures. I've checked them again and again. Always the same result. The design is not safe. It could result in the deaths of millions. I beg of you, stop the project right now before it's too late.
      Margaret Blaine: Well, goodness me. Obviously, Mr. Cleaver, you're the expert.
      Mr. Cleaver: Then you'll stop it?
      Margaret Blaine: It seems I have no choice. (her stomach rumbles) Oh, do excuse me. Civic duties leave little time for a sandwich.
      Mr. Cleaver: But you promise you'll stop it today?
      Margaret Blaine: Well, of course. Nothing is more important than human life. What do you take me for? Some sort of maniac?
      Mr. Cleaver: Why, no.
      Margaret Blaine: Am I right in thinking you've shown your results only to me?
      Mr. Cleaver: Just to you. No one else.
      Margaret Blaine: Wise move.
      Mr. Cleaver: (turning away from Margaret) I can't tell you, Mrs. Blaine, this is such a weight off my mind. I've barely slept. I couldn't believe my own readings. The scale of it, destruction like the British Isles has never seen before. (Margaret reaches for her head; cut to Cleaver, blue light flashing behind him which he doesn't see) If I didn't know better, I'd almost think someone wanted this project to go wrong. As though they intended that this city should be wiped off the map. Thank goodness we've got you, our esteemed leader.
      (He turns round to see the Slitheen, which attacks him)

    • Captain Jack: Ah, sweet, look at these two. How come I never get any of that?
      The Doctor: Buy me a drink first.
      Captain Jack: You're such hard work.
      The Doctor: But worth it!

    • Mickey: I mean, I don't mind you hanging out with Big Ears up there…
      The Doctor: Oy!
      Mickey: Look in a mirror.

    • Mickey: But this guy, I don't know. He's kind of…
      Captain Jack: Handsome?
      Mickey: More like cheesy.
      Captain Jack: Early 21st century slang. Is "cheesy" good or bad?
      Mickey: It's bad.
      Captain Jack: But bad means good, isn't that right?

    • Mickey: Have you seen yourselves? You all think you're so clever, don't you?
      The Doctor: Yeah.
      Rose: Yeah!
      Captain Jack: Yup. (slaps Mickey)

    • Mickey: That old lady's staring.
      Captain Jack: Probably wondering what four people can do inside a small wooden box.
      Mickey: What are you captain of? The innuendo squad?

    • Idris Hopper: The Lord Mayor says... thank you for, for popping by, she'd love to have a chat but, um, she's up to her eyes in paperwork... perhaps if you could make an appointment, for, for next week...?
      The Doctor: She's climbing out the window, isn't she?
      Idris Hopper: ...Yes she is.

    • The Doctor: (On looking at a newspaper and finding out that Margaret Slitheen is the Mayor of Cardiff) And I was having such a nice day...

    • Margaret: This is persecution. Why can't you leave me alone? What did I ever do to you?
      The Doctor: You tried to kill me and destroy this entire planet.
      Margaret: Apart from that.

    • Cathy: The deaths. The number of deaths associated with this project. First of all, there was the entire team of the European Safety Inspectors.
      Margaret: But they were French! It's not my fault if 'Danger – Explosives' was only written in Welsh.
      Cathy: And then there was that accident with the Cardiff Heritage Committee.
      Margaret: The electrocution of that swimming pool was put down to natural wear and tear.
      Cathy: And then the architect?
      Margaret: It was raining - visibility was low. My car simply couldn't stop.
      Cathy: And then just recently Mr. Cleaver, the government's nuclear advisor.
      Margaret: Slipped on an icy patch.
      Cathy: He was decapitated.
      Margaret: It was a very icy patch.

    • Margaret: We're in Cardiff, London doesn't care! The South Wales coast could fall into the sea, and they wouldn't notice. (stops) Ohh, I sound like a Welshman. God help me, I've gone native.

    • Margaret: Dinner in bondage. Works for me.

  • NOTES (15)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Turkey: November 8, 2009 on CNBC-e

    • In the French language version of the show, this episode has the title L'Explosion de Cardiff ("The Explosion of Cardiff").

    • Working titles for this episode were The Void and Dining with Monsters.

    • Along with various locations in Cardiff Bay, City Hall in Cardiff's civic centre is also used for the scenes in Margaret's office, the press conference and the chase sequence.

    • A mock-up edition of well-known Welsh newspaper The Western Mail is featured, which is how the Doctor finds out Margaret is still alive.

    • The episode begins with a recap of the events of Aliens of London and World War Three. This episode takes place six months after the events of those episodes.

    • The final viewing figure for the BBC One airing of this episode was 7.68 million.

    • The TARDIS lands next to the Millennium Fountain in Roald Dahl Plass, in Cardiff Bay. The setting for the new series Torchwood is directly under where the TARDIS lands. It is also right outside the Millennium Centre, in which the Hospital Interiors for New Earth are filmed.

    • Though most of the locations for the new series are filmed in an around Cardiff, this is the first episode to be both predominantly filmed and set there. The Unquiet Dead, though set in Cardiff, was actually mainly filmed in Swansea and Monmouth (with one interior location in Cardiff).

    • The device Margaret uses in her escape plan is a tribophysical waveform macro-kinetic extrapolator. Russell Davies first used the term "tribophysics" in his 9th Doctor novel "Damaged Goods." It refers to the science of friction, and the friction between dimensional surfaces. Tribophysics (or maybe "tribiophysics" - the science of tribes) was mentioned by the Doctor in "The Pyramids of Mars, Part 3.

    • In the USA, the SciFi Channel aired a sneek peak of an exclusive clip on the DVD towards the end of this episode: part of an interview with John Barrowman.

    • This the first episode of Doctor Who to feature Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith) but not Camille Codouri (Jackie Tyler).

    • This is the third episode to feature Margaret Blaine / Blon Slitheen. She was in the two parter - Aliens of London and World War Three.

    • 'Blaidd Drwg' (Bad Wolf in Welsh) is the name of the Nuclear Power Plant project.

    • Described in the Radio Times Doctor Who special (26.03.05 - 01.04.05) as: "The Doctor comes across someone he thought was long dead. Uh-oh!"

  • ALLUSIONS (9)

    • The Doctor: But I landed in the 1960s, it disguised itself as a police box and the circuit got stuck.

      The Doctor is referring to the very first episode 'The Unearthly Child' where he and his grand-daughter Susan spend at least three months in 1963 London where a police box wouldn't be out of place.

    • Mickey: I mean, I don't mind you hanging out with Big Ears up there.

      Big-Ears is a fictional character in the series of Noddy books by Enid Blyton. He is a wise, bearded brownie who lives in a toadstool house at the edge of the woods near Toytown, and is Noddy's best friend. It's pretty obvious that Mickey was referring to the actual size of The Doctor's ears this time around however.

    • Rose: It's a cloaking device.

      Cloaking devices were first introduced in Star Trek, and used by the Romulans in the Original Series episode "Balance of Terror". The invisibility came as a surprise to the crew of the USS Enterprise, who considered it only a theoretical possibility. Rose is wrong however and is quickly corrected by The Doctor, who explains it's a Chameleon Circuit.

    • Margaret Blaine: If I'd refused, my father would have fed me to the venom grubs.

      Venom Grubs are the living weapons of the insectoid Zarbi, first seen in the 1965 Doctor Who episode 'The Web Planet'.

    • Two newspapers are featured in the episode: the Cardiff Gazette and The Western Mail. While the former is fictitious, the latter is a real publication published by Western Mail and Echo Ltd in Cardiff, Wales. It describes itself as "the national newspaper of Wales".

    • Margaret Blaine: (to Captain Jack) You, flyboy, put the extrapolator at my feet.
      'Flyboy' was the nickname given to American volunteer pilots who flew for the French military before the US entered the First World War; it is also the name of a recent film about these volunteers, released in 2006, starring James Franco.

    • Cathy Salt: Cleaver was saying that the whole project could go up. Worse than Chernobyl.
      Largely regarded as the worst accident in the history of nuclear power, the meltdown of one of the reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine occurred on April 26 1986.

    • Rose mentions to Mickey that she and the Doctor were on Justica.
      This a reference to the 9th Doctor novel The Monsters Inside by Stephen Cole, which was set in the prison camp of Justica. This is the first time the TV show has acknowledged anything in the spinoff books.

    • Mickey: So, what are you doing in Cardiff and who is Jumpin' Jack Flash?
      "Jumpin' Jack Flash" is the title of a song by British rock band The Rolling Stones. It was first released as a single on May 24, 1968.

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